Foreversafe offers online backup forever

Lots of sites are in the game of online backup, for a price. But Foreversafe, launched Tuesday, goes one step beyond the typical online backup offer I've seen. The company, based in France, is promising that your data will be around forever--even if your subscription lapses.

"We tell our customers we take care of the storage for life," says Arnaud Meuret, chief technology officer and co-founder of Foreversafe. "Once you have stored something on our servers. It stays here as long as you don't delete it yourself."

The service's annual subscription fee is US$59. "If your subscription expires, your files remain on our servers. The only thing that changes is that you don't have access to them. You can't download them, and you can't upload more data on your safe," explains Meuret of the company's approach.

The company has been around for two years already, in France, and is says it is currently hosting hundreds of terabytes of data. Foreversafe is now migrating beyond European shores, with its English-language service for the U.S. market.

So, will that data truly be there in 10 years time? Meuret says yes, though he admits that "if we go out of business, we won't be keeping the files for life. But we will do our best to make sure that our customers will be able to access their files if we go out of business. And if there is a real problem, we have followed industry standards for the description and organization of your storage, so we can make sure that a third party can take over the storage if need be." Foreversafe.com uses XML.

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